My name is Kathryn Gundersen. I’m a 21-year-old originally from Long Island, New York, and this past May I graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor’s in English and a secondary field in Psychology. What will I do with such a degree, you ask? Well, the eventual plan is law school, but for now I’m going to spend a little time doing some things I really love: traveling, teaching, and learning more about the world by throwing myself right in the middle of it.
In August, I’m moving to Beijing, China to begin my year as a 2017-18 Princeton in Asia Fellow. I’ll be working with the Flourish Project, an education organization aimed at bringing an arts and mindfulness-based curriculum to Chinese public school students. Basically, that means I’ll rotate through a handful of Beijing middle and high schools, teaching things like creative writing, public speaking, and drama during their English classes. When I’m not working, you’ll definitely find me eating and sightseeing my way through the city, learning Mandarin, and hopping on planes and sleeper trains to explore the rest of China and other parts of East Asia. Needless to say, I am SO excited for this year.
Some things you should know about me:
My #1 passion in life is writing, and because I never got over my Hunger Games phase, I write almost exclusively dystopian novels. Yes, this means I love to forecast the end of the world. Talk to me about NaNoWriMo—I’ve done it every year since age 13!
I have a strange obsession with airplanes, airports, and the airline industry. Seriously—I can rattle off airport codes like they’re vocabulary words and I spend a huge amount of time staring up at the sky, guessing the airline, aircraft type, and destination of any plane that passes.
I’m a compulsive traveler, but I didn’t figure that out until I got to college. Since then, through a combination of tracking down error fares, taking advantage of school-sponsored trips, and penny-pinching in my everyday life, I’ve managed to travel to 30 countries in the last three and a half years. I also LOVE to plan trips, and I’m my friends and family’s unofficial travel agent.
I do all my work while lying in my bed. I think I sat at my college desk twice in four years, and all 80,128 words of my senior thesis (a dystopian novel, because duh) were written from my bed.
I can rap every word to the Hamilton soundtrack (and unapologetically talk about all things Ham for HOURS)
I still proudly consider Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco two of my favorite bands. Long live middle school punk.
Yes, I am still watching Grey’s Anatomy. I can’t stop.
I love strawberry-flavored anything, and I survived college on strawberry Andre.
My friends are the most important people in the world to me. I pride myself on having a handful of very close ones here at home, but I’ve also been lucky enough to make so many great friends around the world because of my various experiences abroad. They are the best part about traveling.
I’ve had this blog for three years now, but unfortunately I’ve been pretty flaky about updating it. While all my old posts are still here, I’m revamping the blog to focus on my year in Asia, and I hope to use it to keep friends, family, and anyone else crazy enough to care in the loop. Thanks for reading!